Tuesday, July 26, 2011

1st Annual Twin Cities Triathlon by OptumHealth Performance and Shamrock's Nookie Supreme Eating Challenge Report

So, I decided to challenge myself twice this Sunday.  First challenge, get up and do the 1st Annual Twin Cities Triathlon, after taking Jackie to the airport at 3:30AM.  Second challenge, go to Shamrock's (on West 7th in St. Paul) and complete the Nookie Supreme eating challenge.  I will cover both of those challenges, first to the triathlon.
I was up at 3AM to take Jackie to the airport for her two week trip to Nicaragua, part of getting her MS for PA school.  After that I came home and took care of the usual.  Shower, shave, get stuff together, and head down to the race site.  This would be another race where I am only getting about 4 hours of sleep going into it.  I actually felt pretty good.  As usual, on the way to the race I got a coffee and donut.  For breakfast, at home, before leaving, I had an oatmeal bar, and yogurt with granola and frozen fruit, plus a banana.
When I got there I parked next to a couple guys I know from OHP and walked into transistion with them.  The transition area is huge, and room to expand.  You can see there are expectations for a much larger race.    I took a short ride to make sure the bike was ok.  On Tuesday night, at the Tuesday Night Time Trial, I had trouble getting the front to shift from the small chainring to the large.  I did not want this problem today.  Everything was fine with the bike in warm-up, not the case on the ride......
It was a nice cool morning and the humidity was low, thankfully.  After organizing my stuff and chatting with people, I got ready to get on the school bus to head to the start.  It was announced that the water was 83 degrees. No wetsuit today.  No worries. 
Somewhat humourously (sp?), the driver of the school bus missed the drop off point and we had to come back around.  Just one of those first race issues.
The start area at the riverside is small and narrow, you could only do a TT start in such a place.  I dipped my toes in and it was definitely warm.  The start was about a half hour late.  It was a little chilly waiting for the start.  There was a lot of chatter.  Finally it was announced that we would start.  The starter announced that our order did not matter, since it was a TT start, so everyone just kind of lined up, with the Elites at the front.
As you can see by my 100 yard splits, the swim is fast.  The current is fast.  It did not feel as fast as it was, but it was fast.  The swim went pretty smooth.  I did make one mistake, I was swimming to close to the shore, I should have been more in the middle.  I saw I was swimming close to this pier, people were yelling at us to go wide.  I started to go wide, but not wide enough, and I got caught on a log, or tree, that was just under the surface.  I literally got caught.  I hit it, flipped on my back, and got stuck on it.  A couple of people ran into me and I had a moment of panic.  I settled and got off the tree and was able to keep going with no problem.  I had some scrapes on my legs and one on my arm.  No biggie.
I made the swim exit with no problem, I did not overshoot.  I later found out that some people made the turn late and ended up having troubles getting back.
Surprisingly, my buddy Matt was waiting along the side between the swim exit and transition enterance.  It was good to see someone that I know.  I got in and out of transition with no problems.
The Ohio St hill was a challenge off the start, but not nearly as bad as I thought.  Once up Ohio St, there as still some climbing to be done, not as steep.  The bike course is challenging as a whole.  The course had a number of climbs and a lot of rollers.  It is a very good bike course.  The road surface sucks at times, but that is what you get with a bike course in the city.  I need to improve my bike handling skills and confidence, I could probably drop 2-5 minutes off my bike if I was not so worried about some of those downhills with turns at the bottom.  Early in the bike, on a flat portion of the course, I guy went down on his bike.  It was a left and the bike came out from under and he slid on his side.  He got up quick and started going again.  I saw it coming up from behind.  It shook me a for a minute and probably made me a little more hesitant through corners. 
I felt surprisingly good off the bike.  The run turned out to be challenging also. The run up the Wabasha bridge is decent climb, but it is nice view coming and going on the run.  Once you are over the bridge you go right and immediately downhill, at the bottom of the hill you take to quick rights, and head along the river.  This is actually the hard part of the course.  Going out it is basically flat to a slight incline, a false flat, to a something of a defined uphill to the turnaround.  It is straight as far as you can see.  It is a mentally challenging run.  If it was hot and humid, it would be a death march.  There is no shade on the run.  I would recommend at least one more water stop on the course.  The run back is mostly downhill, except for the steep climb back up the Wabasha bridge.  It is a tough climb at the end of the race. 
It is a challenging course and I felt good finishing it.  I definitely will do this race next year.  I was happy with my final time and my splits.

2011 OptumHealth Performance Twin Cities Triathlon Results   
Swim (2112 yards) - 19:46 (0:57/100 yards)
T1 - 1:46
Bike (25.1 mi) - 1:12:36 (20.8 MPH)
T2 - 1:06
Run (6.2 mi) - 51:19 (8:17 min/mi)
Total - 2:26:30
Overall - 51/118
AG - 8/15
Pace - 4:30 min/mi

After the race I went to Shamrock's on West 7th and met Jackie's brother, sister-in-law, and thier two kids.  I had been planning throughout the week, to attempt to complete the Nookie Supreme eating challenge, but I was going to make a game time decision.  The Nookie Supreme is like an oversided, and much better tasting, Big Mac.  Bigger patties and better, thicker rolls.  The cheese is more like a liquid cheese than melted slices.  Along with eating two of those burgers, you have to eat the servings of fresh cut fries that go along with them, probably less than a pound of fries between the two combined baskets.  I asked the waitress if I could start to eat one basket and decide later to order the second.  That plan is acceptable.  I started into the first basket, and it went quick and I was not getting full.  So, I ordered the second basket.  The second basket went pretty good, until I got to the last quarter of the burger.  Then I started feeling it.  Also, I was getting tired of eating and I was thirsty.  The second burger seemed saltier and the cheese was getting to me.  I did get through the whole things and initially I did not feel that bad.   After I got my picture taken and my shirt, I went out to my car and sat down.  Then I started feeling it.  Really, really uncomfortably full.  The drive home was really uncomfortable.  I didn't really feel like I was going to barf, just super uncomfortable.  I got home, was able to take care of cleanup, and then I get the hiccups.  Then I thought I might barf.  I laid down and fell asleep for two hours.  When I woke up I felt much better.  Still a little uncomfortable.  I don't think I am ever going to do an eating challenge again.  Picture below taken by Jackie's sister-in-law with my phone.

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